PORT ELIZABETH, Dec 26 (Reuters) - South Africa captain AB de Villiers won the toss and elected to bat in the one-off day-night test against visitors Zimbabwe at St George’s Park on Tuesday.
It is the first four day test and also a first day-night encounter in South Africa, whose plans for a four test series against India, starting on Boxing Day, were scuppered by a change in the Indian schedule and so asked Zimbabwe to step in instead.
South Africa will host India in three tests next month.
De Villiers returns to test cricket after a hiatus of almost two years, choosing to concentrate on the limited overs format where he is regarded among the world’s best. He will captain South Africa after Faf du Plessis was ruled out earlier on Tuesday with a viral infection.
Vernon Philander, who missed the last series success against Bangladesh, returns to strengthen a four-man seamer attack but Dale Steyn’s comeback after a year out with a shoulder injury has been delayed by a bout of flu.
Zimbabwe hand debuts to batsman Ryan Burl and tall seamer Blessing Muzarabani.
South Africa: AB de Villiers (captain), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Andile Phehlukwayo, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada
Zimbabwe: Graeme Cremer (captain), Ryan Burl, Chamu Chibhabha, Craig Ervine, Kyle Jarvis, Hamilton Masakadza, Peter Moor, Christopher Mpofu, Blessing Muzarabani, Sikandar Raza, Brendan Taylor. (Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Christian Radnedge)